Bhai Gurdas: The Blessed Scribe Bhai Gurdas, the amanuensis, who inscribed the Adi Granth at the dictation of Guu Arjun was also the author of 39 vars (ballads in the heoric meter) in Punjabi and 556 kabits (couplets) in Braj language. These vars are of great historical and theological importance. The vars are regarded as the key to an understanding of the Sikh scriptures and Sikhism. They are the only really authentic references to the period of the third, fourth, fifth and the sixth Sikh Gurus by a Sikh. Bhai Gurdas’s commentary on Sikh practices is a valuable indication of the state of things at that time. Bhai Gurdas was born in Goindwal in 1551 AD. He was the son of Datar Chand, the younger brother of the third Sikh Guru Amar Das. The name Gurdas was given to him by Guru Amar Das and he took the child’s education into his own hands. Gurdas was quick to learn and soon became one of the chief exponents of the teachings of the Gurus. On the death of Guru Amar Das, the fourth Guru Ram Das formally initiated Gurdas into the faith and sent him to Agra as a missionary. On the death of Guru Ram Das, Gurdas returned to Amritsar and presented himself before Guru Ram Das’s successor - Guru Arjun. Gurdas was first engaged in trying to appease Prithi Chand, the Guru’s elder brother who had set himself as a rival guru and had launched a campaign of vilification against Guru Arjun. Bhai Gurdas failed in this mission. His var 36 on Prithi Chand’s attitude is fully of vituperation. Then Gurdas came back to Guru Arjun and turned his attention to purely academic pursuits. So Guru Arjun in 1603 AD, when he started the great task of compiling the Adi Granth, chose Gurdas as the scribe. The volume was completed in the summer of 1604 AD and was installed in the Hari Mandir, Amritsar.